Wednesday, September 28, 2011

backstage with Kenny Chesney.


Ok, I'll be the first to admit that my life is pretty random. And I'll also be the first to admit that I get the chance to do some pretty amazing things...all by happen-stance. Seriously. I really have the most random and exciting things happen to me. A lot. And sometimes, if I'm lucky enough, I get to share these experiences with some awesome people.

Pretty sure the highlight of my summer was not one but TWO Kenny Chesney concerts. I love country music (my last name is Hicks after all). lovelovelove country music. More imporantly, I love country concerts. lovelovelove them. Kenny Chesney has been coming to Indy for years and years now. And his shows aren't just concerts. They are events. So it was totes on the top of my priority list to go see him (for like the 6th time) this summer.

Let me back up a wee little bit. If you've been reading this blog for any amount of time, you'll know that I am very active with the 500 Festival Princess Program. This year, Kelly Pickler was one of the celebrities that the Festival invited for the parade/Indy 500/etc. Kelly was in our suite for the Indy 500 and I got to hang out with her record rep Bubba for awhile. He's a fab guy! Seriously. He's the best!!! While chatting with him at the race, I found out that he also represents Kenny Chesney. DING! DING! DING!

Yup. Bubba hooked me up for the Kenny Concert on June 24th. Me and my sweet friend Lauren! Honestly, we were just expecting tickets (which were sold out. Over 10,000 people at the Verizon Wireless Music Center. sold out.) And Bubs scored us 8th row seats, center stage for Kenny! We were stoked! And soso happy! And not expecting anything else.

But that wasn't the last surprise Bubs had up his sleeve. When we got to Verizon, we met up with Bubs and he gave us two Meet And Greet passes for Kenny! AHHHHH!!!
meet and greet passes! the surprises never stopped!
me and Kenny. yup. he's a shorty. and I was so star-struck, I almost didn't know what to say. (almost)
Lauren and Kenny.

After the Meet And Greet, Bubba told us that he'd come out and meet us at our seats. No biggie, we were already on cloud 9 from meeting Kenny. And we totes wanted to see the opening act (Billy Currington...ahhhh, dream boat).

So we went to our seats. Not 10 minutes later, out comes Bubba with Kenny cups and beers for us (of course Kenny's tour is sponsored by Corona). So we sipped on some delish Corona while swooning to the sweet jams from curly-top Billy Currington.

8th row seats! and free beer....what more could two chicks want?

love me some Corona.

After Billy was over, we mentioned to Bubs that we were going to try and find some of our friends. Then he asked us the one question that changed my life (ok slightly dramatic, but still)..."do you guys want to go walk around or do you want to go backstage?"

say WHAT??

uhhhh. Backstage. Of course. Totes. No question. Hands down. Backstage!!!!

So backstage we went. Walked around back there. Hung out in the "Pit" (the mini-club they set up for the bands to hang out in). Drank some more Corona. Even chatted with one of Kenny's guitar players Clayton for a bit.

And then Bubba said, "follow me". And follow him we did.

To the stage. And then to the side of the stage. Where we stood. FOR THE ENTIRE CONCERT. Uh yeah.

Stage right baby. These were our seats for Kenny's entire set!
(please excuse some of these pictures...I took them with my phone.)

seriously, I don't think we could have been more excited if we tried!

oh sweet Kenny. Yes. This is how close we were!!

5 feet away. fo sho.

Kenny even looked over and waved at us a few times. Highlight of my life. Not even kidding.

Me and Bubs.
Who's your Bubba?
This is Robin. One of Kenny's tour managers. He's awesome. And he spilt beer all over me.
See? told you.

One of the other openers for Kenny...Uncle Kracker. He later told us in the Pit that he was "Kracker with a K" case we were confused. He was super nice. And kind of drunk when we met him.

Seriously, one of the best nights of my life. We hung out stage right for the entire night. We even got to meet Kenny's girlfriend...who was one of the nicest people I've ever met. It was so refreshing actually to meet her because she didn't have to be nice to us, but yet so was such a sweetie!

Side note (and I don't have any pictures but it totes happened): we did get to meet Billy Currington. Not the brightest guy in the world but we talked to him for a bit during Kenny's encore. He asked us how we enjoyed the show. I tried to make a joke like "it was good, I just wish our seats would have been better." He didn't get it.

Oh another side note: while we were standing Stage Right, a few other girls our age and guys came up and were standing with us. We got to talking to them and found out that they work for Oprah. Yup. Oprah. Kenny was on the Oprah show and invited them to his Chicago concert. They couldn't go, so they came down for the Indy show. Oprah. Kind of a big deal.

Ahh, honestly I didn't think that week could get any better....

And then, two days later, Bubba texted me and told me that Kenny was playing in Cincinnati on the following Thursday (6 days after our first Kenny experience). Would we be interested in a road trip?


So Lauren and I took off for the Nasty right after work on Thursday, where we got to do the whole experience over again. Seriously.

We got to Riverbend (after driving around for an hour trying to find a place to park. I mean, I lived in Cincinnati for three years and still can't find a reason to like that city. My experience at Riverbend just drilled that point home.) Bubba had tickets for us at will-call. We picked them up....only to see that he had given us FRONT ROW tickets!!!

I really had to keep pinching myself to assure me that this was really my life. Good grief!

So we stayed front row to see Billy. Got a wink and a smile from him!

And then Bubs took us backstage. Again.

While we were standing stage right, I happened to look across the stage and saw someone pretty famous standing in the sound booth.

Uh. Yeah.


They were handing him a guitar, and sure enough, he went out and sung "Every Rose Has Its Thorns" with Kenny! Amazing.
 Afterwards, we were talking to Brett backstage and he asked us "if he looked like a douche on stage". Seriously. That was his question. Uh no Brett. You're awesome. And I can't believe I'm actually standing here talking to you. And you're short. But you're still awesome. 

Kenny in the Nasty!

Kenny has four set lists that he works from during a show.

Nick, the blonde guitar player, kept photo-bombing all my good Kenny pics!

I mean, Bubba had given us front row tickets so we can stand and lust after Billy Currington. Not too shabby!
We got to chat with Billy after the Kenny concert too. We talked a lot about Savannah, Georiga (where he's from and where my parents met and married). He totes remembered me and Lauren from the Indy show and as he was hugging me goodbye he said  whispered "It was really good to see you again." Uh. You too Billy. You're dreamy. And my new FFOMC. And I love you! :)

Yup. This was definitely the highlight of my freaking summer!!


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

30for30: September book selections


#12 on the 30for30 list is to read a new book every month. Honestly, I'm totes excited about this challenge...and I am pretty certain that I'll read more than 12 books this year.

Why do I think that? Well, September isn't even over yet and I've read two books and am almost done with my third and fourth (yes, I have reading ADD...I can't read one book at a time. Wait a sec...that applies to most things in my life. Anyway, I digress.)

The first book up was "Heaven is for Real" by Todd Burpo. Uh. This book was simply astonishing. Amazing. Incredible. Fantastic. Eye-opening. Life-changing. Awe-inspiring. Tear-jerking. Super.  
Honestly, I can't even begin to tell you how much this book impacted me. So much so that my friend Caitlin and I have decided to do this as a study with our high school girls (juniors) Bible study.
side note--yes. apparently parents do trust me to mold their children and lead them in a Bible study. I'm still shocked at this. Humbled by it actually.

As a Christian, I fully believe in the existence of Heaven and Hell. And I have been taught enough to know that I sincerely want to go to Heaven. But that's about as far as my knowledge goes. After reading this book...I simply CANNOT wait to get to Heaven. To see my sweet GG again. To hold her hand and walk with her and talk to her about everything. To say "What's up?" to Gabriel as I walk down the crystal path. To hug and squeeze those in my family that I never met but I know are waiting for me up in Heaven. To chit-chat with Rahab and Joseph (my two favorite Bible characters). To worship my sweet Lord with the angels of the utmost highest. To touch Jesus's hands and see where the nails went it...for me and my sins.

I don't know about you...but that sounds like paradise.
Lord. Come quickly.

The next book this month was "A Stolen Life" by Jaycee Dugard.
Uh. What.

Not sure if I would recommend this book simply because it is disturbing at best and shameful/disgusting/mind-blowing at worst. Seriously. It's graphic in some instances.

But I know it's Jaycee's story. True. Disgusting but true.
Come back to see what I've been reading in October...hint. I love George Bush. :)


Strawberry Starburst Crochet Newsboy Hat


Looking for something to spice up that fall jacket?

Check out the
Strawberry Starburst Crochet Newsboy Hat!
sells for $25 in our Etsy Shop


Peacocks at the Zoo Crochet Newsboy Hat


 What does Francesca have on today?? Funny you should ask! It's the...

Peacocks at the Zoo Crochet Newsboy Hat 
sells for $25 in our Etsy Shop


the Night Sky Over Indy Divine Crochet Newsboy Hat


Francesca's been busy on the balcony again...modeling her little heart and soul out. And here are some of the fruits of my labor of crocheted-love...
(want to purchase? check out

the Night Sky Over Indy Divine Newsboy Hat
sells for $25 in our Etsy Shop

This hat was inspired from the Divine Hat pattern.
You can find this free pattern at  


the Blueberries & Cream Divine Crochet Newsboy Hat


I'm officially obsessed with this color of blue. Obsessed I tell you.

the Blueberries & Cream Divine Crochet Newsboy Hat
sells for $25 in our Etsy shop!

This hat was inspired from the Divine Hat pattern.
You can find this free pattern at


Monday, September 26, 2011

trust your struggle.


So. This summer. It was awesome and it was rough at the same time. But mainly awesome. Only some minor rough patches. Ugh, ok I digress.

Anyway, my sweet friend Lauren and I were going through some very similiar things at the very same time. (Isn't it funny how God does that? Puts people in your life RIGHT at the exact moment when you need them...or they need you. Wow. He's awesome. And all-knowing.) We were each other's shoulders to cry on...literally. One day, I stumbled across this saying, and immediately shared it with Lauren.

Trust Your Struggle.

Ahh, I love it! We both found such comfort in those three little words. So, of course, I decided to make sure I saw this saying every day.

And, like every other crafter out there, I'm currently obsessed with chevron.

 What struggle are you trusting in today?


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Playing with yarn & felt


Hi.  I’m Burgess.  Remember me?  I’m the Older Sister half of HicksGirls.  I’ve been MIA.  I have a 4-year-old and a 6-month-old.  They are my excuses for not blogging.  But I have been crafting!  And I am bound and determined to find more time to document my projects.  Sister was here this weekend and we went to our first craft show of the season, and that got us both in the autumn/creating/fall-decorating spirit!  I have a couple of things to share, and they kind-of lead one into another, so bear with me.

Last Christmas I came across a couple of Etsy shops that sold yarn wreaths, and I fell in love with this poinsettia one from the ItzFitz shop:

But, in the HicksGirls spirit, I thought “I could make that!”  And finally in July, I did!  Behold the Independence Day wreath!
I don’t have pictures of the project-in-process, but I’ll tell you what I did:  I took a foam wreath form that I bought at Hobby Lobby.  I wrapped white yarn around it about a zillion times to cover all the foam and get it looking the way I wanted it to.  (That’s the time consuming part!)  I secured loose ends by gluing them down with my hot glue gun.  Then I made red stripes by wrapping red yarn.  I cut different sizes of stars out of blue felt and made little star “pillows” by blanket stitching the edges of two stars together with contrasting thread and stuffing them with polyester fiberfill.  I then glued the stars to the wreath, and voila!  Independence Day wreath! 

I would LOVE to make one for every holiday or season.  We’ll see how that goes.  But, for the time in between holidays, I found a “B” at Joann’s (my married name is Brown), that I thought would be fun wrapped in yarn. 
Now let me say that this did not go nearly as easy as the Independence Day wreath.  Because of the smaller openings in the middle of the “B,” I had to make small yarn balls from my skein first, use those balls to wrap the “B,” then when I ran out of yarn, make another ball, and so on.  Also, there were parts of the “B” that could not be easily wrapped.  So I actually cut smaller bits of yard and hot-glued them to the letter to achieve the “wrapped” look.  This one took me a while (hmmm, I actually started it the week before Part 2 of the last Harry Potter film came out, back in July, because I remember watching behind-the-scenes type shows about the movie franchise on the History Channel while wrapping the letter.  Why do I remember this?  I don’t know.), and then I got side-tracked with other projects, and just finished it a few days ago. 

I added the adorable felt flowers with, again, my trusty hot glue gun.  I found the tutorial for these cuties via Pinterest on the blog From will you? To I do!  You may start seeing these all over accessories for my Baby Girl.  Love them!  This leads me to a project I started just this afternoon…Baby Girl’s Halloween costume!  I decided she should be a witch.  Again, I got this idea from Pinterest (my new obsession!  Have you discovered it?  You should!).  The baby had on a tutu, black shirt, and a small witch hat attached to a headband.  I’ve been dying to make her a tutu, so this is as good a reason as any, but the witch hat is what I’m really excited about!  I should wait until the whole costume is completed to post pictures, but I’m too pumped about how the hat turned out to wait! 

I used the felt flowers from the above tutorial, made loops with sparkly black tulle, added some sparkly ribbon, a couple of feathers…this yields one awesome baby witch hat!  I won’t post pictures of it on Baby Girl until she’s wearing the whole costume, but suffice it to say, she looks ADORABLE with it on! 

And, Sister and I have decided to make witch hat fascinators for our annual Breakfast with the Witches at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis at the end of October.  Stay tuned for those pics!  Happy Fall!